Stunning spiral image surrounding a dying star
October 10, 2012
A unique structure with spiral was captured surrounding a dying star. The spectacular image was detected by ground-based telescope ALMA, located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, which produces images ten times sharper than Hubble.
This telescope was built to study molecular clouds like those surrounding the R Sculptoris red giant star that is 780 light years from Earth.
The Atacama Desert was chosen for its dryness and clarity.
The function of the gas around the old star has never been seen before and is probably caused by a hidden star in orbit.
Astronomers also were surprised to find far more matter than expected in the last phase of his life as it is expanding as its temperature rises.